Loudon County Habitat for Humanity working to help more people own homes
LENIOR CITY (WATE) – Owning a home is a dream come true, but for some families in our area it wouldn’t be possible without some help. That’s where Habitat for Humanity comes in.

The Loudon County Habitat for Humanity hosted its second annual “Houses & Hope” breakfast Tuesday to raise money to meet the growing demand for housing. Some families there say their lives are changed because of the program.

Peggy Russell works full time as a caretaker, providing for her grandchildren and disabled husband. The family has lived in a rundown trailer in Lenoir City for six years, with mold growing and no working kitchen. Their luck started changing earlier this year, when they got approved for a Habitat for Humanity home in the Hope Haven neighborhood in Loudon.

“I want to cry every time I come to work on it – to know that my dream is coming true of owning a home with no issues. That’s the greatest thing that could happen to us,” Russell said.

The home is being built right now, and should be ready to move in by the end of the year.

“A place to live that they don’t have to worry about anything going wrong and being safe. That’s what this, is this is our dream and our reality coming true. It’s beautiful.”

Single mom Gina Russell was one of the first to get a new home when the program started about 20 years ago. She’s now eight months away from paying off her mortgage.

“They make people’s dreams come true, they made my dream come true for my kids,” Gina Russell said.

Executive director Shauna Oden says they’ve built more than 100 homes in Loudon County, and have plans to build seven more next year.

“There is always tears there is always big smiles. They are family, they’re our family and we will be collecting mortgages from them for 20, 25 years and we will be in touch with them all through that period so they’re part of our life,” Oden said.

“Have hope and have faith in the Lord that your dream will come true. “Habitat is a great family to be in because they bring you in with open arms and they treat you like family,” Russell said.